Off to Detroit for the international auto show

BY Willy Williamson Willy's Garage. Jan 12 04:00 am

Tomorrow morning I’ll be up bright and early for a flight to Detroit and what promises to be a whirlwind weekend, taking in all the sights and sounds at the North American International Auto Show.

Since 1965, the Detroit auto show has been held at Cobo Center, where it occupies nearly one million square feet of floor space. Unlike a car show, where classic and special-interest vehicles are on display, an auto show features the latest and greatest new vehicles. It will be my second time attending the big show — I previously checked it out in 2010, and thoroughly enjoyed seeing all the latest vehicles, trends and technology.

Eight years ago, electric vehicles were slowly gaining steam, while self-driving cars were a distant dream. Fast-forward to today and practically every automaker offers a plug-in electric vehicle, and most are dabbling with autonomous driving cars.

Light trucks now account for almost two-thirds of new vehicle sales, meaning pickups and SUVs will surely take up more of the show’s floor space than ever. All of Detroit’s big-three automakers will also have big reveals this year — Chevrolet will officially show us the all-new Silverado on Saturday. night, while next week Ram will reveal its new 1500-series pickup. Ford is also expected to finally reveal the new mid-sized Ranger pickup and its F-Series line of trucks, due to be refreshed for 2019.

Other highlights will include reveals of the second-generation Hyundai Veloster, an updated Ford Edge, an all-new Mercedes-Benz G-Class, the all-new Toyota Avalon and Volkswagen Jetta.

In total, about 45 cars, trucks, crossovers and concept vehicles will be making either their global or North American debuts this year in Detroit. Fellow Free Press automobile journalist Kelly Taylor will also be joining me in Detroit, and we will each report on the show in next week’s Autos.

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